Macedonia boasts a near-perfect climate for growing wine grapes and produces some 100,000 tonnes of them annually in vineyards covering a total area of over 30,000 hectares. Add to these statistics the fact that the country’s also responsible for some of the best food in Southern Europe and you’ll start to understand why wine is such an important part of the culture and why the local stuff is so good. Around 80 percent of the wine produced in the country is red, with nearly all of both the red and white originating from the vineyards of Povardarie, Pčinja-Osogovo and Pelagonija-Polog. With both its long history and popularity in the country, wine is a subject that many people know a lot about, including most of the waiters working in the vast majority of the restaurants mentioned in this guide. If you need any help, there’s plenty around. Personally we’re a bit traditional and prefer to drink Vranec, a dry red made from the grape of the same name that’s among the most popular in the country. We’re no experts, it just happens to go down very well with grilled meat, fresh salad, white bread and white cheese. The following producers all come highly recommended and their products can be found in shops, bars and restaurants in Skopje and all over Macedonia. As you’ll see, some of them also offer wine tours which are a great way to get to know the country, its culture and its drinking habits.